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Essays in biologyIn honor of Herbert M. Evans written by his Friends. The University of California Press Berkeley and Los Angeles. XXVII + 687 pp. 1943

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his Friends. The University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles.
XXVII 687 pp. 1943.
This volunie is a collection of forty-eight articles presented to Herbert McLean
Evans, in honor of his sixtieth birthday, by his colleagues (present or past),
pupils, and friends in many places. The book is notable for a long list of distinguished contributors, the remarkable diversity of its contents, and a n unusually handsome format. Not even the dire fact of a n international war has
been enough to keep the work within the physical bounds of a n ordinary volume;
and its nearly 700 pages constitute a n impressive personal tribute.
It is natural that a collection of this sort should exemplify the widest range
of individual tastes and interests on the part of the many contributors; and as a
matter of fact in modern experimental biology there are few provinces not represented by a t least one article. This astonishing topical variety was probably
welcomed if not actually encouraged by the editors, as reflecting the scope of
Evans' own work and interest. Certainly there are not many investigators of
this generation who have been a n important influence in so many fields. Wit11
even the most liberal restrictions on time and space (charitably overlooking the
matter of competency) it is obviously impossible to deal separately with all or
any considerable number of individual contributions, however valuable or interesting. Therefore, since a book of this type may not receive a wide distribution to
individuals, it may be more useful to indicate as briefly as possible the content of
the volume as a whole.
The key-word is diversity, both of subject matter and method of treatment. The
collection compriws historical sketches, translations frorn classical worlrs, philosophical essays, review articles, clinical reports, and technical contributions :
besides a large number of papers which present the results of current research.
If those articles primarily of a n historical or philosophical character are hct
aside, the remainder fall readiIy within the limits of a single if very broad domain. Rather more than half of the total are concerned with one or more of thcl
almost innumerable aspects of hormone physiology; and these proride a sort of
fiinctional center, o r macro-nncleus, for the volume. Here we find information
(somrtimes new, sometimes redigested) on siich topics as the soiirces and cheniical nature of hormones, methods of assa>-, the part playrd by hormonvs in developmental procwse\ and in adnlt fnnctions, arid the analysis of such activities
at the anatomical, histological and cytological levels. The intricacies of entlocrinc.
and the rolc of 1iormonc.s in pathological processes and their
value in diagnosis, are also well represented. With such abnndance and variety
it js nnfortunate that there mas no attcnipt at a topical arrangement. an adw n t a g e which moidd have been comparatively easy to achieve and a real convpnicnce to the readcr An effort in this direction, at the risk of seeming arbitrary,
will favor brevity and greater coherence in what is to follow.
Closer rxamination brings to light a number of papers devoted to the more
general aspects of endocrine activity - in particular, metabolic effects. This
group treats of such snbjects aS endocrines and intestinal absorption, salt and
the physiology of the adrenalectomized animal, endocrine factors in carbohydrate
metabolism, the kidney and experimental hypertension, etc. Another group is
readily assembled which deals with interrelationships, centering mainly around
certain pituitary hormones. The following topics are here included : the chemical nature of some of the pituitary gonadotrophins (with special attention to
species differences), the source of equine gonadotrophin (the substance is attributed to special “organs” differentiated from the endometrium), a comparative
study of the action of various gonadotrophins on the ovary, pituitary cytology as
affected by castration or thyroidectomy. The much-investigated subject of sex
cliff’rrentiat ion likewise receives attention. The problems and processes dealt
with vary greatly and are often of a very special nature. The follon-ing examples
are cited: hormones and the expression of genetic pattern in the plumage of
birds, sex tliffrrentiatioii i n parabiotic salamanders, the influence of sex hormones on the descent of the testicle, the experimental production of pseudohermaphroditism i n fetal monkeys. Horniones in relation to the reproductive
cycle and secondary cyclical phenomena comprise yet another general category.
Under thi:, head may be listed: functional correlations of ovum, cycle and menstruation ; hormones in pregnancy and lactation ; the regulation of growth i n the
mammary glands ; antler-gonad periodicity in deer ; and t h r hormonal control
of sexual behavior.
A t this point there remainb a small residue not readily assignable to any of
the foregoing groups. Some of these articles are mainly of clinical interest, or
are concerned with the role of hormones in pathological processes. Subjects discussed are : the significance of hormone excretion in the clinical study of tumors.
the distribiition and behavior of experimentally induced neoplasms, and c1inic;ll
methods of estrogen assay. Tn addition, two papers shonld be mentioned which
are primarily historical in theme, but will be of particular interest to endocrinologists. One of these is a detailed historical development of present concepts
correlating hypophysis and pancreas in hypophysial diabetes ; the other a lively
and concise biographical sketch of Brown-Skquard, the almost forgotten pioneer
a n d prophet of modern endocrinology. It is regrettable that the great length of
this catalogue precliidcs the citation of authors, and it shoiild be understood that
many of the topics listed are not actual titles, and are represmtrtl in some casc.;
by more than one contribution.
And now. having disposed in summary fashion of the nuclear material. a t
least a word should be spoken for a rich a r r a y of cytoplasmic inclusions. Reference has been made to a number of papers relating variously to the history
and cultural backgrounds of hiology and medicine, and their presence signifies
more than mere indulgence of the special interests of individual contributors.
I t is perhaps not widely lmown that for many years Evans was a zealous collector
of material on the history of science - biology, physiology and anatomy in
particular. I n time he assembled a valuable library. Although apparently hc
found no time to undertake serious work of his own i n this field, there is little
doubt that originally he planned to do so, and his continiied interest i n these
things must have inflnenced many of his pupils and friends.
I n conclusion, not tlit least important feature of the book is a complete
bibliography of Evans as of Anpust, 1942. The length of the list i q amazing.
with no less than 369 titles recordtd since 190.1. T t is a great convenience to have
thiis provided a single key to so vast a body of worli. Tht bibliography is accompanied by biographical data and a portrait.
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xxvii, 687, university, california, berkeley, angeles, written, evans, los, 1943, essay, friends, honor, biologyin, pres, herbert
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